With DC promising us Aquaman, it seems that they might be finally able to step out of the shadow that Marvel has cast over them.
DC fans are celebrating the first signs of a stable cinematic universe after the successful release of trailers for Aquaman and Shazam! at San Diego Comic-Con.
While casual observers of the superhero genre may have written off DC as Marvel’s socially awkward cousin, mega fans have attributed the hither-to disappointing films to almost constant, tectonic changes happening behind the scenes.
Nicknamed the DC Extended Universe, now officially “Worlds of DC”, the slate of films, which include Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, were originally captained by Zack Snyder. However, after abysmal critical responses, Warner Bros took the opportunity to oust Snyder while he dealt with a personal tragedy, half way through filming Justice League.
The sudden dispatching of its leader was only the beginning of DC’s shifting ground. AT&T took over Time Warner, sparking concerns about competition in the market, and thus innovation. The head of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, stepped down; celebrated writer Geoff Johns left his position as DC Entertainment president and COO, and Walter Hamada was brought in to, hopefully, right the ship.
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Amid the kerfuffle on the business side, fans watched as DC announced and retracted whole slates of movies, picking up and losing writers and directors left, right and centre. Concerns began to grow that DC would use the Flash movie to hard-reset the universe, which was largely seen as a cop-out. (FYI, the Flash can travel back in time and change things.)
However, Hamada seems to have embraced the qualities which made DC’s one objectively good film, Wonder Woman, a success. The new films appear lighter, funnier and more approachable, and the cleverly-named “Worlds of DC” allows for the production of multiple films on the same subject (read: two separate upcoming Joker films). Of course, we will have to wait for Aquaman’s December release to see if our excitement is founded.
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